Education must incorporate technological advances in the digital domain – primarily AI – to revamp a student’s learning experience so it is personalized, targeted and effective, observes Vivek Varshney, CEO and Founder, Speedlabs.
A Concerning Scenario
Nearly 50% teenagers feel addicted to their mobile devices.
70% adolescents feel the pressing need to respond to texts and social media messages immediately.
50% teens spend online time on gaming.
Needless to say, as a parent, one can’t help but feel worried about their child’s education in an environment that is becoming increasingly saturated with online distractions.
The solution to better education lies at the source of the problem
Your child – whether you like it or not – is going to be spending a substantial amount of time on their mobile device, and online, in general. At the moment these elements are serving as a source of major distraction, hindering a child’s academic performance. Most students are not very good at multitasking. So, if you assume a child will watch a video lecture on heir phone, take notes, answer prompts and successfully refrain from giving into checking Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and games, that’s wishful thinking. 97% students use their phones during class for NON-educational purposes! The truth is the percentage of students who have enough discipline to tune out all these distractions is miniscule. Most teachers admit retaining student interest and engagement is difficult when students are constantly connected to the outside world on their cell phones.
According to a research study conducted by Ohio University, Illinois State University and Nebraska University, students who use cell phones score lower results and are less likely to be able to take thorough notes – they are mentally preoccupied with irrelevant information. London School of Economics’ research study indicates that students who did not have access to cell phones in the classroom actually scored 6% higher on tests. There is research that suggests just the presence of a phone (not even actual usage of it!) can result in a drop of attention and hinder cognitive performance in tasks such as completing homework.
If more students are spending time on mobile apps, learning to turn a source of distraction into an empowering tool is integral as we look toward the future.
Passive Vs Active Learning
AI has the ability to turn students from passive to active learners – this is no small feat! When Di Xu, en economist at Columbia University’s Teachers College, analyzed data from over 40,000 students who had enrolled in online courses at 34 colleges around the state of Washington, he discovered these students earned lower grades and were less persistent compared to students enrolled in classroom based courses. Similarly, in another research study administered by Troy University on over 50,000 students taking online and face-to-face courses, students enrolled in online classes had higher failure rates than those attending traditional classroom courses.
However, a meta-analysis conducted by University of Washington, concluded that teaching methods, which turned students into active participants rather than passive listeners, reduced failure rates and boosted scores on exams tremendously. In fact, active learning was effective to the extent that it converted the score of students from a B to an A. In a small classroom environment, where interaction with peers and teachers is encouraged even further, the amount of knowledge gained was fully maximized.
The true war is not between mobile devices and education, but between traditional, outdated teaching tactics and new, contemporary ones. Traditional learning might offer more holistic education than online courses that treat students in a passive manner sans acknowledgment and accountability, but traditional learning also lacks the ability to personalize education as per the needs of each and every single student’s individual needs and background. A hybrid teaching method that serves as the perfect marriage between traditional tactics and futuristic technology is imperative.
AI Presents Lucrative Positive Impact On Learning
Simon Balderson, Assistant Head at Wells Cathedral Schools, recently wrote about how AI’s rise will enhance a student’s educational experience by leaps and bounds. Classrooms of the future will incorporate technological tools which are handpicked and carefully implemented by teachers to maximize benefits. This hybrid teaching style will lend itself to an adaptive learning ecosystem that responds to the individual progress of each student and accordingly personalize the experience for every child. Teachers will act as mentors who guide children through their educational journey, armed with AI tools that empower them to administer education in the most personalized manner possible so each student responds fully.
No two children are alike, so why should education take a cookie cutter approach?
AI enables educators to acquire fine-tuned details about every student, monitor progress closely, identify specific weak points and strengths and the best ways to communicate complex concepts to a child so they process and retain information in the long-run. Before, we had to wait till the day of the final exam to assess a child’s progress academically. With AI and machine learning, we will have this information at hand in real-time! Of course, teachers must be trained to use AI and machine learning so they can control the reins of technology in a manner that yields the best results.
People are already beginning to harness the power of AI already with early-learning tools like Osmo, i-Ready, machine-learning based curated course materials, scheduling tools like Abl Schools, adaptive testing platforms like NWEA and more. With the rise of AI, technology and teachers do not need to pit against each other as loggerheads but as allies working toward the same end goal collectively – improving the education ecosystem.
Practicing What We Preach – SpeedLabs
At SpeedLabs, our strong point is our ability adapt to the changing environment and to draw from the best tools available in the market. Our holistic educational tools are rooted in tech and controlled by experienced teachers who carefully monitor students’ progress like caring mentors.
- Our AI based algorithms identify a child’s learning gaps so we can offer suitable interventions.
- We engage students actively throughout the learning process so they participate and take ownership.
- Our team offers students positive reinforcement to motivate growth. And, corrective feedback is offered through hands-on clarification as and when needed.
- Most importantly, our tech platform cross-checks how much each student is actually learning in real-time with regular check points.
We believe your child’s education shouldn’t be a source of stress. Instead, it should be an exciting journey full of transparency, growth and purpose. Do away with unwanted surprises by embracing the good AI has to offer – after all the “I” in AI does stand for intelligence for a reason!